KARONGI - The highly anticipated joint methane gas exploitation on Lake Kivu is expected to create over 200 jobs for locals who reside around the lake. William Fox, Senior Vice President of Contour Global, the company contracted to extract the gas confirmed this during a meeting with residents at Karongi District headquarters.
“There are no anticipated negative consequences, and even those that may arise will be contained because we have also set up a monitoring department,” he said.
CountourGlobal, has signed a 25-year, US$325 million gas-to-power deal with Rwanda to generate100 Megawatts of electricity from methane gas in Lake Kivu, Western Province.
The government, through its power and water distribution company, RECO, will be selling the power to the end user, and paying back ContourGlobal.
Currently 6 percent of Rwanda’s population has access to electricity but government plans to expand the number to at least 16 percent by 2012.
Addressing the same meeting, State Minister for Mines and Natural Resources, Vincent Karega, revealed that Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo have equal shares of the methane gas.
Karega dispelled fears that the project would be compromised since the lake is shared by the two countries. He said that agreements have been reached to rectify such misunderstandings should they arise.
“The lake has a known quantity of the amount of gas and 50% of it belongs to Rwanda. We shall utilize it in such a way that we do not encroach on the other country’s share,” he said.
Local residents especially fishermen and water transporters expressed pessimism over the future of their income generating activities, saying the planned methane project might push them out of business.